Growing up with a football coach as a dad, I knew that the locker room was the place to be if you wanted to know the truth about the team. Before the game, at half time, and post-game the coaches, players, athletic trainers and other support staff would gather together to discuss strategy and reassess plays made in the first half. At the end they would gather to discuss and review what had worked, what had not worked, and what must be improved before the next game. If you weren’t on the team, you were not allowed into the locker room. It was for the team and coaches/staff only.
When I think of missionaries and even soldiers, I imagine a gathering like the one in the players’ locker room. The leaders and commanding officers give wisdom, direction, correction, and insight to those who are preparing to go out into the field and onto the battlefield. When the missionaries go out to the field to serve, in this country or another one, they are going to lean on and remember the guidance they received in their “locker room” talks. Soldiers are going to remember what they were taught and trained to do as well.
Second Timothy 2:1-7 covers this so well: You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules. The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.
In other words, Dear Ones, when we are gathered in the locker rooms with our Heavenly Coach, we must be focused on His teaching, His direction, His correction, so we are ready when it is time to go out on the field again. Therefore, when the team gathers in the locker room it is for only a specific period of time. The players must leave the locker room so they can go to the field, the missionaries to serve, the soldiers to battle. There are those who would rather stay in the locker room gathering the knowledge but never implementing in and putting it into action.
Best Beloved, do not get too comfortable in the locker rooms. Remember, a locker room is there for getting ready, reviewing, and correcting our actions, not for long term life.
So, let’s get ready and then let’s hit the fields.
Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field,” (Matthew 9:35-38).